David Epstein recently gave an interview exclusively with American Program Bureau, which highlights the controversy surrounding the Russian Olympic team’s doping scandal. Epstein also explains how the healthcare industry could benefit by utilizing performance methods favored by world-class athletes.
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The interview begins with Epstein considering the ever-increasing blurred line between the legal and illegal use of “performance enhancers” in athletics. One legal form that he praises is the individualization of training and dieting for athletes. He claims that individualization should take precedence over cookie cutter programs, because “[what] works for some people…doesn’t for others, but it’s not because of the plan, it’s because they need a different plan for their inimitable biology.” Simultaneously, Epstein strongly advises against specialization for those looking to gain an athletic advantage.
Epstein goes on to elaborate that the benefits of individualization and potential pitfalls of specialization are not limited to athletics. He explains that these methods are also present in business, particularly the healthcare industry. Epstein acknowledges that while specialization is necessary for certain professions, such as practitioners, it can also limit innovative problem-solving. He explains: “As we get increasingly specialized, everyone is looking at such a small part of the system and it turns out the body is not like a VCR, where you can change one thing and it will fix these three other things yet we don’t know exactly what effect it’s going to have.” Thus, he suggests a macro approach that integrates the knowledge of both “the people who look at the big picture [and] the super specialists.”
The top sports science and medicine investigative journalist today, David Epstein shares valuable insights into the brain and how to maximize one’s hidden talents.